Wine figures into most Jewish celebrations. It is always a symbol of joy. On Shabbat, festivals, and other holy days, wine is used to sanctify the day. A blessing is recited over the wine (as a blessing is recited over all food) plus an additional paragraph which sanctifies the holy day. It is customary to pour the wine into a kiddush cup, a ceremonial cup for the purpose of sanctification. A kiddush cup may be made of silver, pewter, glass, or ceramic and is often decorated with Jewish motifs and pretty designs. After the blessing is recited, the wine is drunk. On Passover, the seder service includes drinking four cups of wine, though these can be very small cups. For those who do not drink wine, grape juice is often substituted.


The blessing recited over wine, the fruit of the vine, is:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

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